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I’ve done BLOG articles on this topic in the past, and high time I did an update. Things have changed since the last time I did one, and some of what I said before is less relevant than it used to be. But other things remain the same. There is a time for applying for an Australian tourist visa, and a time for applying for an Australian partner visa (spouse visa, fiancée visa, prospective marriage visa, etc). The main thing I will put to you is this: If you are committed to each other, you should be looking at a partner visa. No question about that! The issue of “I just want to see if she likes Australia” is a non-issue, and has always been a non-issue. I have never come across a situation where a Filipina lady says to her man “You are the love of my life, but I don’t want to live in Australia. Goodbye forever!”, and then heads back to Manila. Yes, we come across relationships that fail, but not because Melbourne or Perth filled the lady with loathing. If she loves you, she wants to be with you and she will adapt! It’s not so hard anyway, is it? If you are committed to each other, and if you are both certain of each other, then bite the bullet and get on with it! Life’s too short to waste time being apart when you don’t need to be.   tourist visa or partner visa from the Philippines to Australia  

The “can I get a 12 month visa” question

I get this question every single week. “No, not ready for a partner visa yet”, they tell me. But they want a 12 month tourist visa so they can be together, and a 3 month stay isn’t long enough. It’s basically impossible for someone to get a 12 month visa because who honestly takes a 12 month holiday? Wish I could! And the other issue being that tourist visas are not substitute partner visas. They design specific visas for specific purposes. Tourist visas are for people taking holidays, and partner visas are for couples who want to live together and don’t want to be apart. Apply for a visa for the wrong purpose, and the will refuse it. The other issue is that when someone indicates to me that they don’t want to be apart, either by trying to get a 12 month tourist visa or by asking about the next visa and how soon they can apply for it, it tells me that they may just actually be committed to each other!  

When is a tourist visa appropriate?

If you are in the early stages of your relationship, and if you’re not 100% certain, and if you wish to develop your relationship further so you can see if you’re really compatible when you see each other every day, then yes…..a tourist visa is right for you. Absolutely. And if you or the lady are still married to someone else, and have divorces to be sorted out before you can apply for a partner visa to Australia, then yes again…..go for the tourist visa. Spend time together instead of apart. We’ll be happy to help you to get the application prepared and lodged properly so you get a visa grant instead of a refusal. Happy to oblige.  

When is a partner visa application appropriate?

Easy! When you know that you’ve met the right one. And of course when you’ve met in person, which is a legal requirement for any Australian partner visa or prospective marriage visa. When you want to grow old with this person. When you want to make babies and raise families with this person. When you know you’ve found your best friend and lover all in one. Sometimes this happens quickly, and other times it slowly develops. Some people are very cautious and wary of making mistakes again. Others are more intuitive and trust their feelings even if it’s only early days. It’s an intensely personal thing. For me when I observe? It’s fairly obvious when a couple have clicked, and it’s pretty obvious when you know they can’t stand being apart. If these things happen? Then forget tourist visas. You can get on with this so you can get on with the rest of your lives with your Filipina wife by your side, or you can delay it and delay it with tourist visas. You will love your time together, then you’ll be all cut up when you have to stick her on the plane back to Manila. Why put yourself through this? You’ll be living the emotional version of living out of a suitcase for a long time if you delay the very obvious.  

Last point

Money! Yes, a partner visa costs. But if you want to be together, you need to open the wallet. No avoiding this. You’ll need to find that money anyway, and doing a head-in-the-sand thing won’t change reality.      
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Jeff Harvie is a Registered Migration Agent from Australia, but resident in Philippines since 2010 with his Filipina wife Mila and large extended family. Experienced with the Philippines culture, cross-cultural relationships and bureaucracy as well as Australian visas and Australian Migration Law, he writes with authority and fortunately with enough informality and humour that the average Aussie gets it!
Australian Visa Fees 2023 – Rise 1 July 2023
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  1. rina b.villavicencio

    hi sir thank u for all good explanation about tourist visa, i love it u give me reason to be with my man..i really do,,i will do for him,,i love him so much hope that u can help me as soon as no problem

  2. vivian bagadiong

    how much is visitor’s visa

    • Jeff Harvie

      Please go to our website’s free assessment form, and we can see if we can help you.

  3. Cally Ross

    hay trying to get to you

    • Jeff Harvie

      I’ve already emailed you, Cally

  4. jenny mae enomar

    Hello, I just would like to ask your help if it will be possible to be granted a 3 months tourist visa in australia since I would like to visit my boyfriend in Queensland in my own finances. Only having 600, 000 peso in my bank account. Hoping for your feedback and your assistance if ever.

    • Jeff Harvie

      Hello Jenny. Please go to the website and complete the visa assessment form, and we will see if we can help you.

  5. jhoanna

    Hello! Sir my fiance inviting me in australia for 3 months holiday.. he is coming in philippines on march 31.. hope you can help us for my visit visa. And please reply to my email add. Then we can go to your office for appointment on april 1. Thanks

    • Jeff Harvie

      Hello Jhoanna. I need you to complete the assessment form on the website. We need to see if we can help you first, otherwise you could waste time and money.

  6. Fatima O.

    How many times can you apply for a tourist visa (subclass 600) ?

    Is there a duration of time before you can apply again?


  7. Shawn

    Hi Jeff. I’ve contacted the Aust Dept of Immigration regarding my questions, but they weren’t very clear. Hope you can help me instead. They mentioned the average processing time for a partner Visa 309 is 15 months. However, if my spouse was to come here on a 3 month tourist visa, while the partner visa is being processed, could we unintentionally delay it’s decision? For example, while she’s in Australia we get lucky and the immigration office says they can make a decision on the Partner Visa, but she has to leave Australia. Could she then leave temporarily to a neighbouring country and inform them of the dates, so that they can make a decision? Also, if there are final stage medical and security checks required at this time, does she have to do it in her home country? Thanks

    • Jeff Harvie

      You get very basic help by calling the Department, Shawn. Strongly suggest that you complete our visa assessment form on the website, and I can address all of those issues for you.

  8. Anthony o'keefe

    Can you get married on a tourist visa and how long do you have to be together in australia to get married can you reply please anthony

    • Jeff Harvie

      You can, yes Anthony. And there is no minimum time to be together in Australia to marry. You will need to check with a marriage celebrant about marriage licenses, etc. If you want help, please go to our main website and complete a free visa assessment form.

  9. Jim Wells

    Hi Jeff

    Very good site.
    Ok I’ve read a lot.

    The way to go is tourist for us.

    I have been there met the girl and confirmed she and I click totally as on Skype.

    I am not quite divorced 2-6 months away.

    What is the next step?? … As I want my girl to come this year for 3-5 months as a tourist.

    She needs to return around Christmas for a few months.

    Thankyou Jim

    • Jeff Harvie

      Hello Jim. Glad you like our site, and hope we can help you. Don’t count on more than 3 months visit, especially for a first visit. Suggest you complete one of our free online visa assessment forms.

      • Jelamay

        Hi sir. I heard about this site but we already use the online so sad.. I lodge my application on 21st of august and it’s been 6 weeks now.. What do I need to do? Please reply. Thank you. ?

        • Jeff Harvie

          You need to wait, Jelamay. Nothing you can do now that it’s in the system.

  10. virna

    hi .. i just want to know, how long does it takes if we r processing the tourist?

    • Jeff Harvie

      The Embassy is generally fairly quick these days. About a week.


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